MASTERY son Down Cold made his first start of 2022 a winning one on Thursday when the Steve Asmussen-trained 3-year-old won an Allowance Optional Claiming race.
Racing on the Sam Houston turf, Down Cold raced an even two lengths off the dueling pacesetters for much of the race when swapping the third and fourth position with his own rival. Canadian Hall of Fame rider Stewart Elliott swung the gelding three wide into the stretch to make a true challenge for the lead and the race was on.
Screwball had been the one putting the pressure on the pacesetter but the pressure was now on him as Down Cold chased down the target on his back. The MASTERY runner was able to get up just in time to win by half a length with the third place runner three lengths behind.
Owned by L and N Racing and Team Hanley, the Stonestreet Thoroughbreds bred was scoring his second career victory after selling to his racing owner for $125,000 as a 2-year-old last April.
Out of the multiple stakes winner Ragtime Hope, Down Cold is a half-brother to dual Grade 1 winner Secret Circle among his dams four winners. Ragtime Hope is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner and Kentucky Oaks (G1)-placed Really Polish, who produced multiple graded stakes-placed Tonahutu with the family also including Grade 1 winner Clever Trevor.